American Women: Partners in Research
- Publication date
- Public Domain
- Digitizing sponsor
- Corning Glass Works
Describes the market research undertaken by Corning Glass Works prior to marketing a coffeemaker.
Good CU head shots of women thinking about purchasing items, saying things like "Oh, I like THAT one!! and the like."
Women Consumerism Hats Coffee klatches Marketing research Research (marketing) License plates Coffee percolators Appliances Corning Glass Co. Laboratories Testing Product testing Housewares Kitchens Shopping Gender roles Product design
- 2002-07-16 00:00:00
- Closed captioning
- United States
- Run time
Subject: Seen in Context...
The ceramic nosecone positions Corning as a cutting-edge, modern concern. The prosaic appeal of a simple, but well-made and -designed home appliance positions Corning as a benign institution of everyday life.
The high-tech nosecone is far less "phallic" than the thrusts of some reviewers here. The implicit sexism of the film is no part of its message and would have raised nary an eyebrow in its day; such was life in the 60's in America. (Honest, I was there.) Viewed in its temporal and cultural context, it's not the least bit offensive, unless you're a knee-jerk misandrist. But its contrast with the present in that sense is remarkable.
As for the women being "unpaid," that's a bizarre and baseless assumption. Doubtless the public were encouraged to express their opinions and preferences at the marketing displays at the Corning museum. But those who participated in any depth would have been given any number of incentives, including money. The same patterns hold today. Do a survey on the street or in a mall, and you get maybe a coupon if you're lucky. Participate in a focus group and you'll be paid, maybe even well-paid.
Though it has grown generally more sophisticated, market research of this sort makes a great deal of sense and it remains a mainstay of consumer product development. It is if anything, more involved and entwined in the "creative" process than it was in 1960.
Subject: Unpaid housewives boost corporate profits
Subject: Remember: Grasp the Tip of the Cone Gently but Firmly with your Right Hand, Forming a Ring with Thumb and Forefinger.
One other great moment occurs at about the 1/3 mark when Chet challenges us by saying "Now how accurate ARE the Opinion Center findings?" I thought I was finally going to find out about their consumer opinion research methodology, but then he goes on to say: "Well, so far - THEY'VE NEVER BEEN WRONG!" Gee, I'm no statistician, but I'll bet THAT's not sufficient stochastic proof. Of ANYTHING!
I have no idea who this film was made for, but my best guess would be sales and marketing types. I also have to wonder whether the sole purpose of the film was to alienate every woman in the audience. It may have far more value as a window on the fashions and styles of 1960 than as an accurate reflection of men's attitudes towards women at the time. However, even though I was only 7 years old then, I am pretty sure it accurately reflects my dad's attitudes at that time.
Four stars for the good photography of interior and exterior everyday scenes from 1960, and for the recorded evidence that cave-man attitudes towards women existed in our society within living memory.
Subject: The oldest profession in the world
Subject: Men do the clever stuff, women exercise their whims. What a load of rubbish!
Well now, here we have these new materials which only men can understand (like this rocket nose cone he's fondling). But, and he condescends not, the girls make all the choices. Don't argue logically with the wife. She doesn't comprehend advanced ceramics, but she knows what colour goes with the kitchen; the whole film is laughable in the extreme.
Classic quotes abound. "Women pour like this because they're not too strong. Oh yes, look how clever they are to do it like that."
Well, I'm a guy and I pour like that so I can see where I'm pouring! Any woman I know can take a perculator and whirl it round the room on the end of her little finger. Pouring out a cup of coffee is not a question of strength, I think most people can work that one out!
All in all, worth watching though for a typical time slice of prevailing ideas. Nowadays there would be women in the lab and as many house husbands buying the perculators so go figure :-)
Subject: American Women: Partners in Research
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.
Subject: If only we didn't have to deal with women!
The cherry on top is Chet stroking that missle nosecone every chance he gets. Great stuff, though the sound seems to be out of synch in parts.
Subject: Man, does this ever take me back
Subject: Chet Hutley tells it like it is about Percolators
An exploration of that hard hitting topic is explored in this fascinating film about the 'new' science, Market Research, circa 1960. The film opens with Chet Hutley sitting beside a steel cone on a desk. He starts talking, and pretty soon, you're wondering.. 'what's with that thing on the desk?' Soon Hutley explains that the material used for the cone, is being used for supersonic rocket travel (which explains the picture of the rocket taking off behind him) AND of normal kitchen items... like percolators! Chet says that 2/3 of women use percolators, and to drive the point down, it's also displayed on a peg board in block letters. Chet then says that marketing new products in the home is difficult, 'as 4 out of 5 new products don't succeed in the marketplace'. Why not just make percolators then? Then 2/3's of homes will have them?
Anyways, the design and testing, both lab and by market research are used to find the right model and shape that women want. Oh yes, size of handle, metal bands, even pretty star pictures are all taken into serious consideration. Soon, the final product is on the shelf. Will it be successful? That's for the woman to find out.
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